Postal Vault product line was also the focus of the 2006 National Student Advertising Competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation in Washington, D.C. that involved over 200 major universities and 6,500 senior level students. Information supplied by these institutions has allowed the company to become the leading “expert” in the secure mailbox category.
The students were given the challenge to “Brand” a never before branded category-Mailboxes. Their objective was to create a marketing and advertising campaign, using non-traditional forms of marketing and advertising, to associate the Postal Vault name with the new secure mailbox category thereby creating top-of mind awareness with consumers as they begin to replace existing unlocked mailboxes with “Postal Vaults”. The competition was held in San Francisco and the following Press Release was issued to major publications across America:
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., June 13, 2006—Students from the University of Virginia won the American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2006 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for an ad campaign created for Postal Vault®, the leading postal security company.
"The University of Virginia campaign perfectly captured our vision for the branding of our Postal Vault product," said Bobbie Cox, founder and CEO, Postal Vault Systems. "My vision for the company and our unique product has been quality, excellence and elegance. It was difficult to choose among all the exceptional campaigns presented, but the University of Virginia team executed this vision with exceptional professionalism and made a truly winning presentation."
The University of Virginia won the competition with its "The Think Campaign." The campaign mission was to motivate consumers to think about their mailboxes and the need to secure mail with a Postal Vault product. Utilizing traditional, nontraditional, and business-to-business marketing tactics, the team presented an emotional appeal to consumers with the tagline "Postal Vault. Now You've Thought of Everything."
As the 2006 NSAC sponsor, Postal Vault challenged more than 6,500 students on 210 campuses to develop a memorable campaign for a newly formulated yet very timely product. Postal Vault manufactures, sells and distributes postal and delivery receptacles designed to protect and secure mail and parcel packages. As a challenge to the competing university teams, Postal Vault provided a case study outlining the history of its vault, which helps prevent identity theft. Student teams then researched the product and devised a completely integrated communications campaign for the ultimate company in postal security. These campaigns were presented by participating college teams in regional competitions across the country.
Judges from Postal Vault and leading advertising companies chose University of Virginia over college and university finalists competing at the AAF National Conference 2006 in San Francisco. Webster University, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and the Art Center Design College – Albuquerque took second, third and fourth place respectively.
For several months, the students—working in teams—conducted primary research to study the target market, including its media habits, and also studied the competition. Getty Images provided use of images for the teams, and their materials were featured in the winning campaign. Other companies that contributed to the NSAC teams are Nielsen Media Research, Simmons and SRDS Media Solutions.
Considered the premier student advertising competition in the nation, the NSAC has become the proving grounds for 80,000 students who have participated and an imperative for an increasing number of ad industry recruiters seeking new talent. Finalist teams are awarded monetary prizes—first place received $3,500; second place received $2,500; third place received $2,000; fourth place received $1,000; and all other teams received $500.
The National Student Advertising Competition is an annual contest held in the United States by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for teams of college students.